Showers Pass Cloudburst Jacket: Getting Rolling – by Guitar Ted
Today Showers Pass has released the news of a new, packable, lightweight rain jacket. The new jacket is called the Cloudburst, and we have had one of these new jackets in-hand for a bit to check it out and get acquainted with. Here following are the details on this newest offering from Showers Pass.
What It Is: The Cloudburst is a fully seam-sealed rain jacket made with a new fabric called eliteAIR™. This new fabric has the characteristic of being stretchable and very breathable. The jacket also is packable with less bulk than many seam sealed rain jackets. Here is what Showers Pass has to say about this new Cloudburst jacket from their press release:
“…Cloudburst Jacket: the first rain jacket built by the 23-year industry veteran using their new eliteAIR™ fabric technology. The soft and flexible feel and whopping 43K breathability rating push performance to the next level while still offering waterproof protection. “
- MSRP: $189 – Men’s Colors: Mandarin (Tested) & Titanium
- Men’s sizes; Small, Medium, Large, X-Large (Tested)
- MSRP: $189 – Women’s Colors: Mandarin & Titanium
- Women’s sizes; Small, Medium, Large, X-Large
The Cloudburst Jacket also features a tailored fit, a full-zip front with a storm flap, 4-way stretch fabric, is fully seam taped, and has large core vents which double as mesh pockets. There is a large back pocket which doubles as the pouch to pack the jacket into. There is a double cinch cord at the hem, and many reflective accents throughout for visibility.
Probably the most amazing claim concerns the three layer eliteAIR™ which Showers Pass claims as having a rating of 43,000 breathable/10,200 waterproof (g/m/24hr/mmH2O).
First Impressions: When I was told that this Cloudburst Jacket was ‘extremely breathable‘ you could imagine the eye-roll I exhibited. I expressed as much to my contact, but I have been assured that this is a much different jacket than others in this regard. You may wonder about those stated numbers above, as did I. So, I did a little digging and to make this succinct, I will boil it down to simplest terms. A higher number on the water-proofness rating is more desirable. A higher number on the breathability scale is also desirable. In my research, I found that the waterproof rating of the Cloudburst figures in to be about the norm for rain-proof jackets. However; the claimed breathability figure is pretty high on the charts. Not “GORE TEX Shake Dry” high, (which is about twice as high as most jackets as claimed by GORE), but far above what most recommend as being “very good” in terms of breathability. That is impressive.
Okay, we’ll see about that. Now, as to the rest, I can heartily say that the fabric is indeed stretchy, comfortable, and soft to the touch. A lot of rain jackets you may not feel comfortable with having direct contact with your skin, like your arms, let’s say. Not so with the Cloudburst. I could see this being used as a windbreaker as well as a rain jacket, if the breathability claim is true. Again, we will see about that.
The fit of the Cloudburst is trim, but not race cut in my opinion. I opted for the size XL as the previous Showers Pass jacket I tried, The Elements Jacket, was also a size XL. I found the Cloudburst to fit very similarly, with maybe a slight bit more room in the Cloudburst, but this may be the stretchy fabric.
The Cloudburst does indeed pack down fairly small- you’d get this into a saddle bag of a larger size, and I could easily palm/one hand the jacket, but this isn’t going in a jersey pocket, or anything like that. So, about average there. The Cloudburst weighed 330 grams on my digital scale. Not bad. Lighter than the other rain jackets I have around here, that’s for sure.
So Far… Okay, so here’s the deal- I’m stuck in a Winter mode right now and eventually Spring will arrive and with that- rain. Hopefully! (We need the rain) So, it may be a while before I can get you readers a good idea on what this jacket performs like out on the gravel roads. That said, I did a fat bike ride in this once before the embargo on a heavy mist day with the temperature hovering around 30°F.
In the meantime, I really am impressed with the stretchy fabric and the soft feel of the material. It’s very “soft-shell” like, if that makes any sense to you. Not the plasticky feel many rain jackets have, that much is for certain.
Preliminary impressions from the fat bike ride? There is something to the breathability claims here, but….. This was at 30°F. Stay tuned….. Yeah…..very skeptical on that, but Showers Pass is confident I will have a good experience with the Cloudburst, so I am expecting to be proven wrong here. Stay tuned for that and more when I come back for my final verdict on this jacket. Hopefully that will be sooner than later, but I am thinking mid-March or so.
Note: Showers Pass sent over the Cloudburst Jacket for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge. We were not paid, nor bribed for this review and we will always strive to give our honest thoughts and views throughout.